Two phone calls from my past kept me from sleeping most of the night. The first one was an enquiry on face book to become a friend. It took me all of two seconds to remember a colleague and friend I had not heard from in thirty two years. We had met and became roommates at a Sales Training Convention in Dallas, Texas, circa 1980. We were there for a week and had a few fun times at that venue. On our return we kept in touch for while and as happens, life goes on and we went in different directions. I often wondered what had happened to her and what she was doing with her life. Within ten minutes of making contact she called me from British Columbia and before long we had all the details of our lives sorted out and laughed and giggled like two teenagers. With plans to connect through Skype and regular emails it was a lovely way to spend the day.
The next call was not so pleasant. After my critique class at college I was trying to get my computer to shut down... I know, it’s not hard but for some reason mine would not shut off. Then my husband who is even more technology inept than I am told me there were two messages on the phone. As he has not figured out the new phones he could not retrieve them!! My friend of fifty years had called from Scotland . She had called me to tell me her husband had died. Although we were expecting it , it is still a shock. Out came the photo albums along with the stories and reminiscing.
My friend and I are as different as chalk and cheese. She was short, I was tall. She was blond and I was dark. We met in our first jobs working as switchboard operators. Fifteen years old and keen to take on the world. I was a city girl and my friend was from the country. She came to the city to work and lived in a bedsit in town. I wanted to join her as it appeared to me to be so exotic, living away from home and fending for herself. The answer was NO. We both fell in love and spend many good times together as a foursome. We were engaged the same year, 1965, and married the following year. She settled into the Border country and I immigrated to Canada that summer. We stayed in touch and they came to visit a few times. We did the same. Five years later we had our first babies in the same month. And again, as happens, we lost touch except through Christmas cards or the occasional visit or phone call when I journeyed to Scotland to see my own family. We reconnected through Facebook and I occasionally talk to her daughters.
What has this to do with writing? Not much really, except...I find all experiences I have had in my life, the people I have met and the places I have been, enable me to become a better writer. The memories that are so sharp like they happened yesterday I hope to use in my future writing.
Cold and snowy today. It is the perfect day for reading and sitting by the fire. Tomorrow Liz is coming from Guelph to spend the day revising with me. Hope the snow tapers off by then.
Keep warm where ever you are.